Mr Haggis believes that his struggle to find employment in the Church is entirely attributable to his decision to write an article for The Guardian in 2005, in which he criticised the Bishops' stance on same-sex relationships among the clergy: specifically, the questions to be asked of those entering civil partnerships. He has suffered a "very long period of depression", but has found solace in celebrating at Fairacres Convent, in Oxford.Richard and I became Facebook friends through mutual friends some time ago. Last year, when I visited England, I met Richard, who had helped me arrange to stay in a guest room in Christ Church College, Oxford. During my stay of several days in the city, he very kindly showed me around Christ Church College and around the city of Oxford. Since I am, as they say, une femme d'un certain âge, he paced our explorations within the limits of my energy and ability in a most gracious manner. To this day, I remain grateful to him and credit him for my most pleasant stay in the city.
My friend misses his priestly ministry immensely, and it breaks my heart that the church refuses to allow him to use his pastoral and preaching gifts in active ministry. It is very much the church's loss.
Bishop Alan Wilson is greatly to be admired for his courage in speaking up for justice and compassion, and I am proud to call him friend. He is the model of a pastoral bishop.